Comic Reviews 18 September 2013

Image

I write weekly comic book reviews on Google Plus’ Comic Book Community and I thought I would finally put them up on my own site each week for a while. So here’s a week which messes with both space and time.

CAPTAIN MARVEL #16

Normally the less popular titles suffer in a crossover like Infinity. Captain Marvel’s involvement in the main series and Avengers has been pretty big for such a massive ensemble. This issue (and the previous one) have been fantastic for showing what’s happening to Captain Marvel in this event. Last week’s Avengers issue had a view of Carol’s interrogation and being dragged away by Ex Nihla. We see the same scenes again but expanded and with Captain Marvel’s inner monologue to help expand on her decisions for that issue. The issue begins with Carol with her Binary powers trying to save all the Avengers but being captured, then we have her interrogation and listening in on the villain races’ betrayal. The interactions between Captain Marvel, Spider-Woman and Hawkeye are great fun as they bicker while captured and when out of their prison.

DAREDEVIL #31

Mark Waid brings even more interesting limitations to Daredevil’s senses this issue, as well as a touching moment and a new mystery in the courtroom. Foggy’s cancer treatment is still going on and he’s got his fellow patients dressing in Daredevil tops to help get past their fear. I like that Daredevil’s identity is kind of publicly accepted as pretty much known but skirted around as it adds to social awkwardness in many issues, or helps Foggy inspire other people. Then we get into the meat of the story. A defence attorney’s interview on television is edited in a way only Daredevil senses, and he seems to give the identities of jurors in a controversial case. The public go nuts and Daredevil has the confusion of the crowds to contend with while he tried to save each jury member’s life. The cover gives away the villain as the Jester, but I’m just happy he’s still the version from Superior Spider-Man using modern media technology to try and do evil.

HAWKEYE #13

How wasn’t this on my standing order? Man, I really hope this comic was delayed. I’m going to have to hunt down a copy at my comic shop.

INFINITY #3

Infinity may only be three issues into the main series, but it feels like the heroes have been losing this conflict for ages now. The two Avengers, New Avengers and Captain Marvel books probably help that sense. This time, the heroes strike back and win the battle even while the Builders are going pretty well at winning the war by getting other races to bend the knee. After two issues of near-unstoppable ownage from the Builders, it’s good to see that the heroes can do something to fight back. Earth meanwhile has Thanos’ forces facing off against a distracted Illuminati and Black Bolt who’s done something a tad crazy to save his people. We know the next era of Marvel will be all about the Inhumans, and this series will lead us there, but we don’t know how or why. Not yet. It’s pretty certain that the son of Thanos must be an Inhuman but not why big T wants him dead along with all his peers.

JUSTICE LEAGUE 23.3 / DIAL E #1

Dial H ended last month after pulling a strange story together into something much better and more entertaining. This issue does little to put an actual ending on the series, but is an interesting showcase for 20 different artists. I’m not sure where “Dial E” comes from, I assumed it was “Evil” but the dial involved doesn’t actually dial that. A bunch of smalltime crooks find a Q-Dial and are able to dial villains while on the run. Each page brings at least one new Q-Dial villain as the crew pass the dial around to fight off their enemies. The Centipede from the Dial H story arrives and is stopped eventually. A ‘nothing’ story with some fun art, little more.

NEW AVENGERS #10

Set shortly before Infinity #3, New Avengers shows the gathering of the smartest (and most conflicted) minds of the Marvel Heroes. Dr Strange is still the Ebony Maw’s meat-puppet, Black Bolt is planning his gambit against Thanos, Namor’s scheme to destroy Wakanda is ticking over quite nicely and the others deliver exposition about how they drove off the Cull Obsidian visitors. At times the New Avengers can seem like those classic science fiction movies where scientists talk about huge goings on in a lab for 90% of a film’s run time. With Hickman behind the wheel that’s okay, he keeps things compelling as we look behind the tacticians of both Earth’s forces and Thanos’. The search for Thanos’ son kicks off with signs of Inhuman influence all around the world until Dr Strange (and therefore Ebony Maw) find him in a hidden Inhuman settlement.

POWERS: THE BUREAU #7

A ‘done in one’ story for Powers, which is something I like given the frequency of the comic and how much I normally have to backtrack and see what had happened previously. This is one of those issues of a comic which is a great example of the theme and tone of the series are, from the gruesome killings, the personal life drama and the two pages where Pilgrim and Walker talk about manscaping around a dead body. Again, this has it all.

A woman is found shot and killed in her bathtub. A simple murder, in theory, but she’s a power and therefore part of our dynamic duo’s remit. They look into the case of a woman who could turn into multiple versions of herself, all of whom are dying. The killer is an easy one to guess, but the reason’s a fantastic take on any hero who can make copies of themselves. In fact, Multiplicity would have been a lot more interesting (and darker) if it went down this route. Despite the horrors Deena’s faced in past issues, seeing her at her saddest here is almost worse. She’s normally far more guarded and seeing that bravado knocked down is brutally humanising and affecting after all these years of getting to know her.

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #18

Time travel’s a weird creature. In the present day, Spider-Man’s nerdy nemesis is wreaking havoc with Spider-Man 2099 trying to keep the future safe. Now that Otto-Peter murders villains when he feels it necessary, the challenge now is for Spider-Man 2099 to stop Tiberius Stone from being killed by Otto’s hands or Tiberius’ own. The young Stone is a Grade A jerk and the moment he finds out he’s essential to the future he throws himself off a building to prove that the Spidey of 2099 is forced to keep him safe. Despite having zero investment in the 2099 era, I like the challenge for both our protagonist and the actual good guy.

UNCANNY X-MEN #12 (BATTLE OF THE ATOM #4)

After an issue which felt a little short on actual events, we have a lot more going on. I hate to sound like a Bendis fanboy (partly because I am one) but there’s a kind of ease in this issue which wasn’t in part three. Young Scott and Jean have found their way to Utopia and the Uncanny X-Men who are just as conflicted as the Jean Grey School staff about keeping the past X-Men in the present. Cyclops grows a heart for once and wants his young self (and of course Jean) to stay. Emma and Magneto are less keen given the problems of messing with time. Emma’s been on the outs with Scott since the end of AVX, but this time she makes their conflict more pronounced by summoning the future X-Men in. There’s only one problem; she doesn’t realise that Jean Grey’s one of the people she summoned. Agent Dazzler and the constantly frustrated Maria Hill stick to the background and provide comic relief in their frustration at anything the X-Men do. I’d feel bad for her, but it’s not stopped being funny yet.

BOOK OF THE WEEK

Well I’m weak. I’m an easy mark, and the natural flow of events in Uncanny X-Men #12 are great. Not only is the Uncanny X-Men issue still about the book’s team even in a crossover event, but it threatens to shake up the status quo of Cyclops’ team and shows more of Scott’s conflict with his past self, past lover and present team. I can’t wait to see the fallout.

BRIEF COMIC REVIEWS

 

CAPTAIN MARVEL #16

Normally the less popular titles suffer in a crossover like Infinity. Captain Marvel’s involvement in the main series and Avengers has been pretty big for such a massive ensemble. This issue (and the previous one) have been fantastic for showing what’s happening to Captain Marvel in this event. Last week’s Avengers issue had a view of Carol’s interrogation and being dragged away by Ex Nihla. We see the same scenes again but expanded and with Captain Marvel’s inner monologue to help expand on her decisions for that issue. The issue begins with Carol with her Binary powers trying to save all the Avengers but being captured, then we have her interrogation and listening in on the villain races’ betrayal. The interactions between Captain Marvel, Spider-Woman and Hawkeye are great fun as they bicker while captured and when out of their prison.

 

DAREDEVIL #31

Mark Waid brings even more interesting limitations to Daredevil’s senses this issue, as well as a touching moment and a new mystery in the courtroom. Foggy’s cancer treatment is still going on and he’s got his fellow patients dressing in Daredevil tops to help get past their fear. I like that Daredevil’s identity is kind of publicly accepted as pretty much known but skirted around as it adds to social awkwardness in many issues, or helps Foggy inspire other people. Then we get into the meat of the story. A defence attorney’s interview on television is edited in a way only Daredevil senses, and he seems to give the identities of jurors in a controversial case. The public go nuts and Daredevil has the confusion of the crowds to contend with while he tried to save each jury member’s life. The cover gives away the villain as the Jester, but I’m just happy he’s still the version from Superior Spider-Man using modern media technology to try and do evil.

 

HAWKEYE #13

How wasn’t this on my standing order? Man, I really hope this comic was delayed. I’m going to have to hunt down a copy at my comic shop.

 

INFINITY #3

Infinity may only be three issues into the main series, but it feels like the heroes have been losing this conflict for ages now. The two Avengers, New Avengers and Captain Marvel books probably help that sense. This time, the heroes strike back and win the battle even while the Builders are going pretty well at winning the war by getting other races to bend the knee. After two issues of near-unstoppable ownage from the Builders, it’s good to see that the heroes can do something to fight back. Earth meanwhile has Thanos’ forces facing off against a distracted Illuminati and Black Bolt who’s done something a tad crazy to save his people. We know the next era of Marvel will be all about the Inhumans, and this series will lead us there, but we don’t know how or why. Not yet. It’s pretty certain that the son of Thanos must be an Inhuman but not why big T wants him dead along with all his peers.

 

JUSTICE LEAGUE 23.3 / DIAL E #1

Dial H ended last month after pulling a strange story together into something much better and more entertaining. This issue does little to put an actual ending on the series, but is an interesting showcase for 20 different artists. I’m not sure where “Dial E” comes from, I assumed it was “Evil” but the dial involved doesn’t actually dial that. A bunch of smalltime crooks find a Q-Dial and are able to dial villains while on the run. Each page brings at least one new Q-Dial villain as the crew pass the dial around to fight off their enemies. The Centipede from the Dial H story arrives and is stopped eventually. A ‘nothing’ story with some fun art, little more.

 

NEW AVENGERS #10

Set shortly before Infinity #3, New Avengers shows the gathering of the smartest (and most conflicted) minds of the Marvel Heroes. Dr Strange is still the Ebony Maw’s meat-puppet, Black Bolt is planning his gambit against Thanos, Namor’s scheme to destroy Wakanda is ticking over quite nicely and the others deliver exposition about how they drove off the Cull Obsidian visitors. At times the New Avengers can seem like those classic science fiction movies where scientists talk about huge goings on in a lab for 90% of a film’s run time. With Hickman behind the wheel that’s okay, he keeps things compelling as we look behind the tacticians of both Earth’s forces and Thanos’. The search for Thanos’ son kicks off with signs of Inhuman influence all around the world until Dr Strange (and therefore Ebony Maw) find him in a hidden Inhuman settlement.

 

POWERS: THE BUREAU #7

A ‘done in one’ story for Powers, which is something I like given the frequency of the comic and how much I normally have to backtrack and see what had happened previously. This is one of those issues of a comic which is a great example of the theme and tone of the series are, from the gruesome killings, the personal life drama and the two pages where Pilgrim and Walker talk about manscaping around a dead body. Again, this has it all.

A woman is found shot and killed in her bathtub. A simple murder, in theory, but she’s a power and therefore part of our dynamic duo’s remit. They look into the case of a woman who could turn into multiple versions of herself, all of whom are dying. The killer is an easy one to guess, but the reason’s a fantastic take on any hero who can make copies of themselves. In fact, Multiplicity would have been a lot more interesting (and darker) if it went down this route. Despite the horrors Deena’s faced in past issues, seeing her at her saddest here is almost worse. She’s normally far more guarded and seeing that bravado knocked down is brutally humanising and affecting after all these years of getting to know her.

 

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #18

Time travel’s a weird creature. In the present day, Spider-Man’s nerdy nemesis is wreaking havoc with Spider-Man 2099 trying to keep the future safe. Now that Otto-Peter murders villains when he feels it necessary, the challenge now is for Spider-Man 2099 to stop Tiberius Stone from being killed by Otto’s hands or Tiberius’ own. The young Stone is a Grade A jerk and the moment he finds out he’s essential to the future he throws himself off a building to prove that the Spidey of 2099 is forced to keep him safe. Despite having zero investment in the 2099 era, I like the challenge for both our protagonist and the actual good guy.

 

UNCANNY X-MEN #12 (BATTLE OF THE ATOM #4)

After an issue which felt a little short on actual events, we have a lot more going on. I hate to sound like a Bendis fanboy (partly because I am one) but there’s a kind of ease in this issue which wasn’t in part three. Young Scott and Jean have found their way to Utopia and the Uncanny X-Men who are just as conflicted as the Jean Grey School staff about keeping the past X-Men in the present. Cyclops grows a heart for once and wants his young self (and of course Jean) to stay. Emma and Magneto are less keen given the problems of messing with time. Emma’s been on the outs with Scott since the end of AVX, but this time she makes their conflict more pronounced by summoning the future X-Men in. There’s only one problem; she doesn’t realise that Jean Grey’s one of the people she summoned. Agent Dazzler and the constantly frustrated Maria Hill stick to the background and provide comic relief in their frustration at anything the X-Men do. I’d feel bad for her, but it’s not stopped being funny yet.

 

BOOK OF THE WEEK

Well I’m weak. I’m an easy mark, and the natural flow of events in Uncanny X-Men #12 are great. Not only is the Uncanny X-Men issue still about the book’s team even in a crossover event, but it threatens to shake up the status quo of Cyclops’ team and shows more of Scott’s conflict with his past self, past lover and present team. I can’t wait to see the fallout.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in General and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s